With so many movies represented in any given year’s Academy Awards Ceremony, very few people have time to watch all the movies needed to be fully prepared for Hollywood’s biggest night. Sure, you can read predictions from experts that are well-trained in nit-picking and over-analyzing every move an actor makes, or every scene a director directs, but it’s likely that the majority of movie goers value their friend’s opinion of a movie or performance just as much as what the critics think.
While all five of the actresses below gave memorable, praiseworthy performances, the following is a casual movie fan’s perspective of who is most deserving to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress at the 2017 Academy Awards.
5. Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
While all three ladies from Hidden Figures gave solid performances, Octavia Spencer’s role as Dorothy Vaughan, the mathematician and supervisor, was the least impressive. I’m not sure if the Academy just put the names of all three ladies in a hat and Spencer was the one chosen, but the fact that she got the nod over Janelle Monáe and Taraji Henson is shocking to say the least.
Here are some circumstances I can relate this to in order to help you understand my confusion. Octavia Spencer being nominated over her two co-stars is like….
- Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child being named “Best Female In An All Black Female Duo or Group” over Beyonce and Kelly Rowland. Or TBoz, Left Eye, or Chili.
- Larry being named most popular and humorous Stooge
- Simon being named the chipmunk you most want to be BFF’s with
- Yellow winning an award for most popular primary color
You catch my drift? Octavia Spencer is a phenomenal actress and all, but the Academy was way too over-zealous to follow-up her 2011 Best Supporting Actress Win for her role in The Help.
4. Nicole Kidman, Lion
Let’s face it, moms have it rough. They are constantly worrying about what poor choices their children will make. They often times have to walk on egg shells to not “annoy” or “bother” their child. And 99.9% of them continue to stick by their child even when their son/daughter is a complete lost cause.
All this makes being an adoptive mother all the more admirable. In Lion, Nicole Kidman portrays real life Australian adoptive mother of two, Sue Brierley. Not only does Brierley and her husband selflessly adopt two children from India, but she stands by their side despite all their deep-seeded issues. One child suffers from rage and self-harm, while the other child obsesses over finding his real life mother on the other side of the world.
Kidman makes it impossible to not sympathize with, as anyone with a caring mother is all too familiar with the look on her face when she is about to meet her wit’s end. One time, years back, while vacationing in Italy, my mother couldn’t find me as we were touring the Vatican. After getting the entire family to frantically search for what must have been nearly 15 minutes, she dramatically found me as I was educating myself on the history of my religion by listening to the provided headphones and reading along with each of the corresponding informational blurbs about each artifact. IMPORTANT FACT: I was 33 years old. ANOTHER IMPORTANT FACT: Moms are nuts.
Anyway, when my mother and I were finally reunited after what must have been a horrific twenty minutes for her in the holiest place on Earth, the look on her face was very similar to the “wit’s end” Nicole Kidman towards the end of the film.
Job well done, Mrs. Kidman.
3. Naomi Harris, Moonlight
Fortunately for my family and I, unlike Nicole Kidman, I have no story to relate my mother to the crack head emotionally abusive mother that Naomi Harris plays in the movie Moonlight.
With that being said, I would imagine that Harris plays the role of the aforementioned crack head emotionally abusive mother, Paula, with the upmost realism.
Regardless, her acting was out of this world impressive, and in many other years, she would easily be the frontrunner to take home the award. Sadly, for her, there are two other woman whose performances out shined even her A+ acting.
2. Michelle Williams, Manchester By The Sea
Talk about karma being a big, huge bitch… Nearly two decades after the atrocity of Michelle Williams being snubbed over and over again by the Teen Choice Awards for them refusing to nominate her over fellow Dawson’s Creek actress, Katie Holmes, it is now Williams that is getting the last laugh.
While Holmes was busy taking care of her crazy husband, Williams remained focused on her acting career and has earned a little less than a zillion* nominations and wins for some insanely fantastic roles over the past decade.
Her role as Randi in the film Manchester By The Sea was impeccable and she stole the scene every time she appeared on-screen. Unfortunately, she was only in a limited amount of scenes. If she had just a bit more screen time, I would give her the edge, but in order to beat Viola Davis, she would have to do a little bit more than the approximate 10 spectacular minutes in which she graced our screens.
* I am not exactly sure if the number is actually a little less than a zillion but I do know it is a lot. And a hell of a lot more than Katie Holmes.
1. Viola Davis, Fences
If it weren’t for the fantastic acting in Fences, I doubt I would have been able to make it through the flick without falling asleep a few times. But Viola Davis made it impossible to look away. Her performance of Rose Lee Maxson was absolutely heart-breaking and made me feel actual hatred for her husband, played by Denzel Washington.
Never have I yearned to be a black female rights activist living in 1950’s Pittsburgh more than after watchingDavis’ powerful, emotional, and flawless performance. And that’s saying a lot because I can recall wanting to be a black female rights activist living in 1950’s Pittsburgh like at least 7 times just off the top of my head.
Despite the fact that Davis probably should have been nominated for Best Actress instead of Best Supporting Actress, I don’t see a scenario in which she doesn’t walk away with the Oscar on Sunday night.
Click here for Best Documentary Short Subject (in my opinion, the most important category)